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'What do you think of the National Health Service?'


Selecting Bill Silen as Professor of Surgery
Howard Hiatt Physician
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When it came time to, to select a professor of surgery the... I was on that committee and felt that the relationship between the departments of medicine and surgery had to be as close as possible, so I was determined to try to identify a person whose commitment to teaching, to quality of patient care, to research, mirrored that of the group of people in the department of medicine.

A friend of mine, Bob Glaser, then the Dean at the University of Colorado Medical School, told me that... of a young surgeon who had just left his school to go to the University of California at San Francisco, Bill Silen, a man who was now a... at UCSF, an Associate Professor, but one who was doing very creditable work on the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, and who was a superb surgeon. I put Bill's name forward and our committee selected him. He came to the hospital at a time before there was adequate research space, and I went to my colleagues in medicine and asked them to give up some of the space that we had, as short as space was, in order to make this an attractive place for Bill. The response was, was one of great concern and, and willingness to bring about Bill's coming, and of that, from that point on the relationship of the two departments was very, very close and, I think, a model for, for teaching hospitals elsewhere.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: Bill Silen

Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008